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Linked Finance talking to AIB about lending deal


Linked Finance founder Peter O'Mahony

Linked Finance founder Peter O'Mahony

Linked Finance founder Peter O'Mahony

Irish online lending company Linked Finance is in talks with AIB and other major Irish banks about future collaborations, its founder said.

Serial investor Peter O'Mahony, who founded the peer-to-peer lending platform, said the firm had been approached by AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank.

"There are no concrete proposals, but we are very confident that at some stage we will have a relationship with one or more," he said.

Talks with all three banks are still at an early stage, but O'Mahony said there were a number of possibilities for collaboration.

"It could involve a partnership without any financial involvement. It could involve one of the banks taking a stake in our business and helping us to grow, or we could be taken over and we could become a department of a bank," he said.

There is a growing trend for bigger banks to hook up with these smaller lenders to provide boutique online lending opportunities. In the UK, Santander has a partnership with online lending platform Funding Circle for smaller loans, which saw £140m (€160m) lent in May alone, while Goldman Sachs' has a new peer-to-peer lending arm called Marcus.com.

O'Mahony's company last month received authorisation to begin lending in the UK market, and its Irish operation saw lending jump more than 300pc in the first quarter.

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